Pence tweets he's 'PROUD' to support Blackburn in Senate bid

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Pence said that in a meeting with governors at the White House Monday, they and Trump will “make the safety of our nation’s schools and our students our top national priority.” (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

NASHVILLE - Vice President Mike Pence on Monday doubled down on his support of Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Marsha Blackburn, calling her a "critical ally" in a tweet that comes a day after retiring U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., offered more muted support for the Brentwood congressman.

"PROUD to support our friend @VoteMarsha for US Senate representing Tennessee," the vice president tweeted. "Marsha Blackburn is a rock-ribbed conservative who has been a champion of President Trump's pro-jobs, pro-military, AMERICA FIRST agenda & will be critical ally in the Senate. She has our full support!"

Pence had made his support of Blackburn clear last year when his Great America PAC gave $10,000 to the Senate hopeful, who at that point faced former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher in the GOP primary.